Skip to comments.How I Stopped Drowning in Drink
Posted on 03/18/2012 3:47:30 PM PDT by nickcarraway
What's the secret to getting sober and repairing the other broken parts of an alcoholic's life? It starts with setting your own terms, writes Paul Carr.
For years I'd told myself I wasn't an alcoholic. I never drank alone. I didn't wake up with fierce cravings, and sometimes I went for one or two days without drinking. A need to drink all day, every day, was never my problem.
My problem was that once I had a drinkwhether it was at 7 p.m. or 9 a.m.I couldn't stop until my body shut down and I passed out in a pile on the floor. I still had plenty of friends and still managed to hold down a job, but my relationship with alcohol was very obviously different from most people's. I was an alcoholic.
As of Saturday, the counter on my website says "878 days." Eight hundred seventy-eight days since I had my last alcoholic drink. Eight hundred seventy-eight days since I declaredvery publiclythat my drinking had passed the point where it was funny, crazy or even merely dangerous. In fact, my addiction to alcohol had reached a stage where it was highly likely to kill me.
Enough was enough. So I decided to quit. But I didn't do it in the typical way.
For one thing, I didn't go to Alcoholics Anonymous. Not a single meeting. I have several friends who attend AA and have found it to be a highly effective way to quit. I have plenty of other friends who attend AA meetings every morning and are blind drunk every night. I almost attended a meeting at the suggestion of a friend, but first I decided to read the organization's Twelve Steps, the program that members must follow. The first step was enough to confirm that this form of
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
There’s no “rule” but the point of the meetings is to share, those who absolutely positively never share (which is a pretty solid description of my life) aren’t really working the program.
Now on your second point you’re right. But it’s good to keep in mind for the vast majority of them that’s something OTHER than AA.
Been functioning for over 35 years, next step is the grave yard.
It’s funny that you keep thinking we are talking about you.
You keep pinging me so I expect you are talking to me!
TO you... Not necessarily about you.
Just my last piece of information, and I hope you know that I am not your enemy. Functioning has nothing to do with living. Please think about it. And in case you’re wondering, that’s TO you.
It’s all in definitions. It appears that the accepted definition of a “real alcoholic” is one who cannot keep himself from drinking once he tastes a sip. I have a little problem with this definition as I have seen people who I had no doubt were alcoholics and who as I mentioned recovered to drink moderately. Whether they stayed that way forever, I don’t know.
As someone noted above, everyone’s different and these widely accepted templates don’t fit every person under the sun. When I turned 40, for example, I was told I should need reading glasses, and I was told that for years afterward, while I never needed reading glasses and I would demonstrate it to opticians, ophtalmologists, and professors at the Optometry School.
“You guys are so full of crap its pathetic, many alcoholics maintain daily!”
Drinkers and even heavy drinkers maintain.
The commonly held definition of “alcoholic” implies problem drinker.
A problem drinker is not “maintaining.”
I “maintained” until I didn’t.
“He will remain self-centered and self-seeking”..that he is demostrating already, ha.
Yeah, just another guy with a book ..big whoop. I read that article and said”So what?”
Nobody at AA says it is the ONLY way and drag drunks into a meeting off the street. ha.
He makes it sound like he JUST now discovered a way to quit..duh..some people just quit, others use church, etc. etc. But the life changing behaviors often don’t happen without some sort of spiritual program.
My way happened to be AA.
Most everyone in AA would concur with what I wrote. :)
Id say without a support system this man will probably drink again. I truly hope he doesnt
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I agree with the author in terms of AA help etc, it just isn’t for me either.
But a blanket statement about the virtues or shortcomings of AA is no more appropriate than your statement of without a support system (AA?) one will fail.
I ‘cold turkied’ alcohol and tobacco in the same week in OCT 91 (right after my 52nd birthday) and, other than an occasional NA beer, I have touched neither since and did it without AA etc.
AA just isn’t for me, but if it makes others comfortable, that is what should they should use.
I also think the point the guy is making is that if you don’t ‘agree’ with the AA concept, don’t feel it is impossible to stop.
This line that the author wrote, is predicated on a falsehood.
There are NO 'musts' in AA. I know plenty of AAs who never work a single Step. They are miserable cusses, so much so that even *they* refer to themselves as 'dry drunks'.
So it is suggested that an AA work the Steps, but there is no 'must'.
I've known and know heavy drinkers who function and likewise alcoholics.
My husband has treated both. The individual must ultimately decide or by horrid circumstances, have that decision made for him or her. Only the individual truly knows.
A true, helpless and hopeless addict, will always return to his or her intoxicant of choice.
However, powerlessness over alcohol, that is much more readily apparant. A person who drinks a drink, and then loses the power of choice on whether or not to have anotherandanotherandanotheranother and so on, until they are passed out, in jail, or in a hospital... that's a much easier call.
The official AMA definition of addiction (including alcohol) is "...the continued use of a mood altering substance or behaviour despite adverse consequences."
I’m grateful that I can drink as drinking was intended, but my husband cannot.
Two drinks and he would be off and running, so you see he fully understands alcoholism first hand and was a wonderful psychiatrist for his patients, with a remarkable success rate.
Some were so badly harmed by their own actions and failures, they were suicidal, but are now successful again. Others are just blessed and grateful to be sober and enjoying life with their families back intact.
Alcoholism is an insidious disease and that’s how he treated it. He took away the shame.
God bless you all who suffer from it and best wishes and prayers for continued recovery.
Excellent point, and thanks very much, dear Laz!
I have the same problem.
Looks to me that you guys all married the wrong girl.
I’ve posted this before in alcoholism threads, but I want to keep touting naltrexone, the drug of choice for the “stubborn” drunk who can’t stop drinking on his own (or with help) but wants to. The Sinclair Method allows you to keep drinking on your regular schedule, but you take naltrexone before each drinking session — and the drug eventually takes away your desire to drink. No joke. Someone very close to me has had great success with this inexpensive drug (easily available from Canada, or your own doc if you can get them to prescribe it). The person I refer to has, in the space of a year, gone from drinking 12 - 15 beers at a time, three times a week, to drinking six beers at a time, once a week, or often once every two or three weeks. Just google “Sinclair Method” and “naltrexone.”
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